As we age, our mind’s dreams of going to such locations grows farther and farther as our priorities change and as the old body just doesn’t have the same spring in the step of earlier years. I’ve always loved to travel. It never mattered what the destination was. Just leaving the comfort of normalcy for a weekender has always recharged my batteries. Always has. And hopefully always will.
So it was with a great deal of amazement last fall that our sneaky kids brought us all together for a Sunday dinner where they presented us with a copy of a large check in an amount beyond belief for a cruise! We were shocked with the size of the gift and how they had been saving for years. The gift is to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary, that happens later this year. The kids were thinking we might do Europe, Hawaii or some other exotic location, but my very first thought was it HAD to be Alaska!
We’ve all seen the photos, travel videos, documentaries, and even quirky sitcoms and dramas with the backdrop of beautiful Alaskan. The views are magnificent, even in photos. Ever been on vacation somewhere and snapped what you thought was an award winning photos only to have your viewers say nice. Nice? The photos and experience to me was WOW and I get a “nice” from someone that didn’t go. They just weren’t “there” and don’t really understand so they? That scenario is probably played out with most vacation photos for everyone. I tend to think after seeing a number of YouTube videos that those really do capture more closely the sights and sounds of the adventure. The missing components from a sensory standpoint is actual sights, actual sounds, and actually feeling whatever weather elements and scents only captured while “really” being there.
So very soon (less than 3 weeks) we will be embarking on something wonderful. I’ll try and share as much of it with you, that I humanly can.
As you can see I have not created an entry for some time. My original intention was to create a blog to help consumers with the basics of financial matters as related to credit. But life happened and my credit business fell by the wayside and now I am on to other ventures.
Last night as I lay awake not being about to fall asleep it occured to me that I wanted to share some new things via blog. Since Facebook is not the place for lengthy recitations, I thought this could be the appropriate place to talk about my friend and compadre Jeff Thompson.
Night before last we all lost Jeff to a tragic accident. But when this unfortunate event took place he was doing something he really loved. He was spending time in the pasture across the street from his home. I’m sure Christy his daughter had a lot to do with his love for the outdoors and animals, but Jeff had developed a love for horses and all things related to them. Ironically, Jeff’s new found love a few years ago helped him overcome a long episode of severe back pain. After two back surgeries Jeff still fought daily pain. He tried everything he could to aleviate the pain. Nothing seemed to help.
But as Jeff found out more and more about horses Christy help feed and water Jeff’s new passion since she had a long love for animals and especially horses. So it didn’t take very long before Jeff was buying boots, a hat, all kinds of tack and finally a pickup. It wasn’t long before he started buying horses of his own. Jeff was hooked.
So when Jeff walked across the street on Monday night he was not just feeding horses or helping his neighbor, but he was feeding a passion. But this was not Jeff’s only passion. He had many, let me tell you!
I consider Jeff one of lmy dearest friends and comrades. We had common wishes and desires. We shared a common love for our wives and kids. We shared a common passion to help others find depth in their faith, especially for men.
We began our friendship in a group that was called, at the time, ISI. This stood for “Iron Sharpens Iron”. This name was taken from Proverbs 27:17 “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another” NIV. This men’s group met each Tuesday morning @ 6:30 a.m. at our church. This was an existing group that Jeff had already been a part of. And I was a “newbee”.
Frankly I was not prepared for such a group nor for such a guy as Jeff. I was in a transitional time of my life (but aren’t we all!) I came with the intention of just listening and not talking. But the dynamics of the group were such that the participants were “encouraged” to share what was going on in each others lives. It was an eye opening and engaging forum. For the first time in my life I heard men talk about the REAL issues of life and marriage and family. I resisted talking as long as I possibly could, but if you know Jeff he wouldn’t let you rest until you opened up and shared what was REALLY going on.
I will talk more later about this group and where it took us. But for now I want to start this blog again and talk about my relationship with Jeff and how much this man means to me and my family.
So check back often and I will be updating as many times as possible in the next few days and weeks as my mind recalls and my tears allow me to see and type.